Just 7 days remain to make a submission opposing the McPhillamy’s Gold mine on the Headwaters of the Belubula River 8kms from Blayney
We’re asking people to make a submission to NSW Planning. The Central West’s scarce water resources are under threat from the proposed mine.
See the instructions below and feel free to use the dot points for your own submission.
How to make a submission objecting to the proposed McPhillamy’s Gold Mine Project at Kings Plains:
- Go to this site: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/major-projects/project/9821
- Make an account and verify it
- Sign in and click ‘make a submission’
Your submission can be personal or on behalf of an organisation. It doesn’t have to be complex.
Here are some points you might like to use. Feel free to copy and paste them into your submission:
- The vast majority of Australia is in the grip of drought, claimed by some to be the most severe and widespread in recorded history. Most expert opinion is that, due to the now unavoidable climate change caused by global warming, such droughts are going to become the new normal. This will result in reduced rainfall, increased evaporation, and consequent scarcity of water for all purposes, including farming, on which we all depend for food production. Yet this project is seriously proposing to construct a tailings dam, full of potentially toxic sludge, on top of the headwaters of one of the few rivers in the country still in reasonable condition.
- Tailings dams have been known to fail, with catastrophic consequences. Destroying this agricultural area for a 15 year project to extract gold at a concentration of perhaps 1.05gm/tonne, producing 60m+ tonnes of waste, and leaving a destroyed landscape and toxic legacy that will last forever just cannot be justified to produce a metal that will likely end up as jewellery, or be locked away as bullion. No doubt the financiers and engineers who are promoting and designing this project are highly skilled, but the risks posed by this project are way out of proportion with the benefit to be gained for the country as a whole.
- Some towns in NSW are about to run out of water. It is morally problematic to say the least that water has been turned into a commodity in this country rather than an essential resource to which everybody has a right and human and animal interests are considered higher than the profits of organisations.
- The use of cyanide to process the gold from ore and then pumped into the tailings dam. Cyanide has been banned in nine countries, Korea, Ecuador, Argentina, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Greece, Turkey, Germany and Hungary and some US states and poses a dangerous and toxic threat to the water and land in the region.
- Inevitable contamination of the Belubula and Lachlan Rivers, due to seepage through groundwater flows from the tailings dam
- Traffic problems and caused by the continuous stream of heavy vehicles, and light vehicles at shift changes
- The blot on the landscape caused by the “amenity bunds” and dust
- Loss of natural land and environment for wildlife, and the impact of toxicity on surrounding wildlife
- Noise, dust, vibrations, particulate pollution from diesel fumes, light pollution 7 days a week and 24 hours a day
- The noise, vibrations and risks posed by regular explosions permitted for 12 hours a day. This will impact livestock and domestic animals on neighbouring properties and could damage heritage buildings
- Permanent degradation of prime agricultural land and scenery
- Loss of trees including high altitude yellow box that may be 200 years old
- Impact on bee population due to loss of ground flora and contaminated water
- Loss of the forest where the mine is proposed that is considered an ecologically endangered community as defined by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
- The high probability that the developer will not be willing or able to rehabilitate the site when the mine eventually becomes unviable, as has happened so many times in the history of mining
- The whole project proposes less than 1000 short terms jobs. Other industries in this area, with support a more diversified and resilient economy including tourism, renewables and sustainable agriculture offer far more employment.
Where the Beulubla river runs
The Beulubla river runs for 165 km. It is a perennial river, which means it runs constantly in years of regular rainfall. Its constant flow is assisted in no small way to a series of springs on Kings Plain. The proposed McPhillamy’s mine will plug up most of those springs with concrete (credit Google Maps)
Just as a reminder this is what it looks like now and the tailings dam will go from where I am standing to take the photo to the state forest in the background: